Thursday, February 02, 2006

Pennsylvania Game Commission Yesterday Announced Not Just a Record Bear Kill But One That Exceeded The State's Previous All-Time Record By 35 Percent

Pennsylvania Game Commission Yesterday Announced Not Just a Record Bear Kill But One That Exceeded The State's Previous All-Time Record By a Whopping 35 Percent. - from article below.

Wow! A whopping 35 percent. Think they’re happy?!! Seems so. I bet the bears aren’t. 4,164 bears killed. Wow, never seen such happiness over such a large number of animals killed. Think they’re sick?! You bet!

Let’s hope New Jersey doesn’t follow their lead.

Penna. announces a record bear kill


By Don Sapatkin

Inquirer Staff Writer

While New Jersey continues to debate whether hunting black bears is ethical or necessary, the Pennsylvania Game Commission yesterday announced not just a record bear kill but one that exceeded the state's previous all-time record by a whopping 35 percent.

Under the headline "Pennsylvania hunters post incredible bear harvest record," the agency said the official final tally for the two seasons - three days before Thanksgiving statewide plus six days after Thanksgiving in designated areas - was 4,164.

The previous record of 3,075 was set in 2000, before extended seasons were added in more than a dozen counties, mainly in the northeast, where wildlife biologists believed extra measures were needed to control surging bear populations.

Pennsylvania has held bear hunts in 96 of the last 100 years, and game commission officials said opposition is rare. New Jersey, by contrast, held its first, highly controversial bear hunt in more than three decades in 2003, after wildlife biologists concluded it was the best way to reverse the growth in bear populations in northwestern counties.

Numerous protests and lawsuits filed by animal-rights groups led to a cancellation of the Garden State hunt in 2004, and then a reinstatement - cleared at the last minute by the state Supreme Court - in 2005. December's six-day hunt resulted in a preliminary harvest total of 298 statewide.

The tug of war is likely to continue as bear-hunting bills await action in Trenton and Gov. Corzine sets policy of all kinds, including those involving animals and hunting.

"We see this as a new day for the administration on these issues," said Michael Markarian, executive vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, a leader in the bear-hunt fight. He quickly produced a partial transcript from a September gubernatorial debate that quoted Corzine as saying: "I'm actually not in favor of bear hunts based on the scientific information I've seen... ."

Asked for comment, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees hunting and wildlife issues, said last night that it was too soon to respond.

Pa. Bear Harvest

Of the 4,164 black bears harvested in Pennsylvania in November-December:

• 47 were shot by women.

• 12 died by handgun.*

• 9 by bow and arrow.*

• The biggest weighed 733 pounds.

• 17 weighed 600 pounds or more.

• 131 were in Southeastern Pennsylvania.**

• 100 or more were killed in each of 18 counties.

* Full breakdown: rifle (4,107), shotgun (15), muzzleloader (15), handgun (12), bow (9), unknown (6).

** Schuylkill, Dauphin, Berks, Lehigh, Lebanon and Northampton Counties.

SOURCE: Pa. Game Commission

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